The Portal Systems FAQ answers the questions that interested parties and customers ask us most frequently. Your question is not listed? Then contact us. We will be happy to answer your questions personally!
Why is there a platform service description and a solutions service description?
The platform service description refers to the SaaS service “Shareflex Online”, which, along with Microsoft 365, is the basis for the Shareflex Solutions. The platform service description explains the Shareflex Online Services, describes the aspects of data protection, the data storage location and the release process as well as technical limits and restrictions.
The Shareflex Solutions service description, on the other hand, refers directly to the Shareflex Solutions and their operating model and describes the solution operation.
Does Portal Systems store the data managed with a Shareflex Solution?
No, Portal Systems does not permanently store any data, such as contract data, incoming invoice data or any other type of document that companies process with a Shareflex Solution (hereinafter “customer data”). Customer data is only temporarily processed by Shareflex Online within the scope of the application logic.
Where are the customer data stored?
The client data is always stored in SharePoint Online or the Microsoft 365 client of the customer. When setting up the Microsoft 365 client, the customer must define the data storage location. This means that the client data is always stored where the Microsoft 365 or SharePoint Online data is located.
What happens if the Shareflex Online Services are not available?
The Shareflex Online Services are designed to be highly available and modular, so that outages are kept to a minimum. In the unlikely event that all Shareflex Online Services are unavailable, work with the solution is no longer possible.
Access to data in SharePoint Online is always possible
The customer can nevertheless continue to access all their data, since it is stored in SharePoint Online. Access works via standard Microsoft 365 functions such as the SharePoint full-text search, OneDrive for Business or the standard SharePoint. If an individual Shareflex Online service is not available, the range of functions is reduced by the unavailable functions of the respective service.
Is the customer data managed with a Shareflex Solution backed up?
Portal Systems AG does not back up customer data during solution operation. If a backup of customer data stored in SharePoint Online is necessary, it is the customer’s responsibility to define an appropriate backup or restore concept.
What happens if the agreement is terminated?
After termination of the SaaS contract with Portal Systems AG, access to the Shareflex Online Services is no longer possible. In this case, the Shareflex solution is no longer operational.
All data remains with the customer
As the customer data is stored in the Microsoft 365 client or in the customer’s SharePoint Online environment, the customer can access this data via standard Microsoft 365 functions even after the end of the contract.
How is an update of the Shareflex Online Services carried out?
The foundation of the Shareflex Online Solutions are the Microsoft 365 Services and the Shareflex Online Services. Updates are automatically provided for the Microsoft 365 Services and the Shareflex Online Services.
How is a Shareflex Solution updated?
An update of the Shareflex Solution is carried out by uploading and providing the update package. This task is usually carried out by the customer independently or with the help of an integration partner. If an update is required, the customer will be informed at least 30 days in advance. If a required update is not rolled out on time, we can no longer guarantee the functionality of the application.
What data does Portal Systems store with the Shareflex Online Services?
To ensure high-performance execution, Portal Systems stores part of the configuration data of a Shareflex Solution in a Microsoft Azure SQL database. This concerns, for example, the business application logic that is executed in the background.
Why is a distinction made between Shareflex Online Services and Shareflex Solutions?
The Shareflex Solutions are specific solutions or applications, while the Shareflex Online Services and Microsoft 365 provide the basic services behind them (invisible to the user).
Model of the Shareflex Online Services and Solutions
Which services and functions does Portal Systems monitor?
Portal Systems AG manages the infrastructure (Infrastructure as a Service) for Shareflex Online hosted in Microsoft Azure data centres. This includes (but is not limited to) configuration data management, high availability, configuration data recovery, security and scaling (see Shareflex Online Services platform service description for details). The Shareflex Online Services hosted on this infrastructure are continuously monitored. In addition, Portal Systems monitors the core functionality of the Shareflex Online Solutions.
What do customers need to monitor themselves when operating the solution?
In particular, clients need to monitor the customisations in the Shareflex solution and take action in case of performance incidents and unforeseen behaviour. Furthermore, they have to monitor the growth of data and documents as well as the number of users.
Is it possible to customise and individualise Shareflex Solutions?
Since the Shareflex Solution is provided in the customer’s Microsoft 365 environment, very flexible customisations and individualisations are possible. These are completely separate and independent from other deployments in the same Microsoft 365 environment or other customers.
What are the minimum requirements to use Shareflex Solutions?
We offer Shareflex Online for Microsoft SharePoint Online and therefore require a Microsoft 365 plan that includes Microsoft SharePoint Online.
What are the subscription fees for the Shareflex Online product solutions?
For the Shareflex Online solutions with user licensing, fees are charged for the individual users, as is the case with other providers. However, we do not differentiate according to permission, i.e. according to the type of access. This means that read access costs the same as write access. In addition, the price per user is reduced with a higher number of total licences.
Here is an example:
A subscription for 10 users costs 350 € per month.
A subscription for 100 users costs 1,200 € per month.
With 10 licences, one user costs 35 €, with 100 licences only 12 €. Due to this quantity discount, the price per user is significantly lower for a large number of users.
The advantage of this variant is that the effort for licence management is much lower. Thus, only the number of users has to be monitored and not how the users can access. In addition, more flexibility is offered, as even occasional write access is covered without additional costs.
Which requirements have to be met in order to use Shareflex?
Portal Systems provides Shareflex for Microsoft SharePoint 2016 and 2019 or SharePoint Online and Microsoft Office 365. Accordingly, different scenarios are possible: either “on-premises”, i.e. on the company’s own internal servers, or “online” with a Microsoft 365 plan that includes SharePoint Online.
How does my company benefit from Shareflex?
Shareflex extends your SharePoint infrastructure and makes it more user-friendly and flexible. With our ready2go business applications (Shareflex Solutions) or individual solutions based on the Shareflex Platform, you get extremely secure and efficient tools for the digitalisation of your business processes.
What is the difference between Shareflex Platform, Shareflex Solutions and Shareflex Extensions?
The Shareflex Solutions are our ready2go solutions for contract management, document control and QM and incoming invoice processing. The Shareflex Extensions are extensions and partner solutions for our solutions, such as Outlook integration or PDF generation.
Shareflex turns SharePoint into a platform for business applications
The Shareflex Classic Solutions are based on the Shareflex Platform, the Business Application Platform from Portal Systems. This provides the infrastructure and background processes for the software.
Is there anything Shareflex can do that SharePoint can’t?
Only through Shareflex does SharePoint become a platform for business applications. This is because Shareflex builds on SharePoint, extends it in a meaningful way and thus maximises user-friendliness.
What programming skills are required in order to use Shareflex?
In order to configure Shareflex and work with our solutions, no explicit programming knowledge is necessary.
Do you need your own servers to host Shareflex?
No, not necessarily. Own servers are only necessary in the on-premises environment. For the Shareflex Online Solutions we offer a “dedicated” or “shared” service in the cloud.
Does Shareflex also work with Microsoft Office 365 / SharePoint Online?
Of course! Because with Shareflex Online we offer you our own product suite for Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint Online. From the modern, holistic enterprise content management system Shareflex ECM Online to ready-made solutions, such as our contract management Shareflex Contract Online, to individual company solutions. If you are interested, please contact us!
Is Shareflex also suitable for smaller companies?
Provided the appropriate SharePoint infrastructure and hosting model are in place, yes.
Which business processes can be optimized and automated with Shareflex?
In principle, Shareflex can be used to configure all conceivable applications for business processes. We offer you preconfigured solutions for contract management, the administration and control of QM documents as well as incoming invoice processing.
Full flexibility with Shareflex
All these solutions can be easily adapted to your company-specific requirements. And with the help of the Shareflex Platform, the list can be expanded almost at will.
Additional questions and answers on the topic of “document-centred business processes”.
What does ECM stand for?
ECM stands for Enterprise Content Management. “Enterprise content management encompasses the technologies for capturing, managing, storing, preserving, and delivering content and documents to support organizational processes.” Definition by the international industry association AIIM (Association for Intelligent Information Management).